The little one rounded the
corner, alone, crying, carrying her pink, velcroed, tennis shoes.
She was maybe three years of age, at the most.
“Are you looking for your
asked. I looked around, expecting to see a frantic mama in search of her child.
No one matched that description.
Then out popped a young mom from behind the shelves of shoes. I
suppose she was fearful of me, a stranger, talking to her child.
“Oh, look! There’s your mom.
See she won’t leave you. She’s right here.”
The woman gave me an icy stare and said, “I was hiding to teach her a lesson.” Oh boy…My stomach
This had ugly potential.
She picked up her child and plopped the little gal on the bench.
She grabbed the mini-psychedelic -shoes and held them in her daughter’s
“If you don’t put on your
shoes, I’m calling the monsters.”
The Pippi Longstocking pigtails bobbed up and down with each
hiccup sob. This poor little one was being terrorized right before my eyes. The
mom thought she was doing it right.
I said nothing. I had no idea how to say what I wanted to say.
This mom needed help. I could help her. I’m ashamed to say I sat by and did
nothing. I’m praying she will read this post.
So here are three tips, when
shopping with a young child:
1. Have the youngster in a stroller, contained. Keep her there.
with the littles can be tough, especially if you have more than one child. When
my kids were young I would load up one cart with all four and pull a second one.
If the child is not in the buggy and wanders off , runs away, or doesn’t come
when you call, DO NOT hide or threaten
to leave. Go after that kid. Tell the child, “I will never
leave you. I will always protect you.” Then pick up the screaming and
kicking stinker (positioning the legs away from you, of course) and put him or
her back in the cart.
In the case above, the mother wanted the child to put on her shoes. She could
have said this, “You have a choice, you can put the
shoes on yourself or I will help you.” Most preschool or toddler
children want to do things, “By self.”
Prevention is also helpful:
1.State, “When we go shopping you must stay in
the stroller or hold my hand for safety.”
Avoid shopping during the bewitching
hours of mealtime or nap time. A hungry tired child is not a good little
3.Engage you child in the event. “Help
me find….. Do you see……?
Most of all…stay calm. Stay in
control. And keep the errand short.